The Golf Channel
Spouses guide to sanity
Surviving a season of pro golf coverage requires some self-education. Start with this knowledge base:
- Play the ball where it lies
- Golf is played outdoors
- Pro golfers are not super models
- Mike or Retief – golf vs wine
- Golf is polite
- Pro golfers are easy to spot in their underwear
Play the ball where it lies. This is where golf gets both practical and philosophical. There is a rule book (see USGA Rules of Golf), because no one remembers the technical definition of “casual water.” Golfers do not walk around with the official rule book in their pocket. Golf Channel viewers have never seen a copy of the rule book. Most of the rules are just dumb anyway. So only remember this, “Rule 13: Ball Played as it Lies,” even if it bounces off spectators and lands inside a beer pitcher in the concessions tent. You are always allowed to play the ball where it lies.
If play stops in the golf tournament and you see the course official walking around staring at the ball, while players gesticulate at various objects on the ground, this is a consultation regarding the Rules of Golf. To the non-golfing spouse watching this on The Golf Channel, it is watching grass grow, literally. Consultations continue through commercial breaks. Ads on the golf channel are never scintillating, nothing will blow up in flames, and the musical scores are forgettable. This is your chance to raid the fridge and open some wine.
When you return, the game has resumed. If you’re lucky, one of the golfers had spoken into an open mike with, “That effing turtle ate my ball!” This sound byte will be replayed on The Golf Channel for eternity. That player will be nicknamed “The Turtle,” His career will plummet, he’s headed for a job as a commentator (see Charlie Reimer), not hall-of-famer. His dreams of opening a winery are dashed as all his backers withdraw their support – no one wants to drink “Effing Turtle” wine.
We display the artwork for the illustrated copy of the rule book. Anyone can buy a copy from Amazon.com. But no one does. Tiger Woods won't even fork out bucks for a book (see the 15th hole at The Masters).
Golf is played outdoors. Someday, an innovative golf-loving Japanese engineer will fix the best and worst thing about golf. But for now, it’s played outdoors, where you’d rather be, not indoors watching the golf channel. This allows non-golfers to check out the scenery and weather at exotic locations. Consider a vacation in Dubai after you spent four days looking at it on TV. Views of the beach, ocean and desert are shown to promote the golf tournament. It's called the Dubai Desert Classic. The rest of the city might be one big sand trap. Dubai has lovely beaches. You and the kids would love that – golfers, not so much. In Dubai when you get sick of the sand you can snow ski indoors. Go for it.
|Dubai Golf Promotional Photo|
|Old Tom Kite|
|Young Tom Kite|
Pro golfers are not super models. They are not eye candy. They are not rock stars. They do not have tattoos. It’s tough to remember who is who, because they change their look so much as they just age. Just when you associate that blonde sunburnt guy with his name and country, he becomes the bald pasty old man who can’t remember his own name. Pro golfers are just like wine. Memorize their names and countries. They age fast out there. At left, Tom Kite at University of Texas, Austin 1969-72 (hook ‘em horns!). Right, Tom Kite today as seen today on the Champions Tour, Lasiked.
Pro golfers are mostly named either “Mike” or “Retief.” That makes it easy to talk about golf at parties. “Mike (or Retief) played well in the first round,” is nearly always an accurate statement. But quickly steer the conversation toward wine, because any self-respecting Mike or Retief also makes award winning wine. Would you rather drink wine or talk about golf?
|Masters Champion Mike Weir founded Mike Weir Wine. He is from Canada, eh. Mike attended BYU. But he is not a Mormon, so the wine is Okay.|
|Retief Goosen produces "Fine Wines by the Goose." He's from South Africa. It's' a long haul. Retief won the U.S. Open twice. He is so low key he's off the octave scale. He was once struck by lightening, the explanation perhaps.|
Golf is polite. Guys walking around in teams with an arsenal of clubs – CLUBS! Barbaric, right? Unfortunately, some guy in the gallery shouts, “In the hole!” after the putting stroke is delivered. The rest of the crowd patiently awaits the outcome.
Why can’t fans square off in separate bleachers and scream, “KILL HIM!!” There are $millions at stake in these matches. Isn’t that worth throwing down the golf gloves and going at it now and then?
At a minimum, the exchange of fans should sound like this, “In the hole, Mike!” “Oh yeah? Well in your face, Retief!” followed by a brawl, and later a lot of award winning wine.
Golfers have nicknames of animals: Tiger, Shark, or Bear. Fierce animals, yes. But golfers aren’t labeled, “The Enforcer,” “The Refrigerator,” or “The Goon Squad.” Golf is too polite for that.
Pro golfers are easy to spot in their underwear. Spot the pro golfer in the following photos:
Armani underwear model. Don’t know his name or phone number. So please don’t ask me for it. His photographer, whom I will call, “That Armani Guy,” is quite talented too. This photo definitely makes me want to buy this underwear!
William “The Refrigerator” Perry. I think it is disrespectful to label such a fine athlete after an appliance. Let’s save “The Refrigerator” for an athlete who has something to do with refrigeration – like a golfer who keeps his award-winning wine at the correct temperature. Please note that I could not find a photo of Mr. Perry in underwear online. Though if you Google "Perry Underwear" you will get this image.
Good for you, Mr. Perry! But I’ll bet you totally rock in your skivvies. His photo makes me think he should have been nicknamed “The Enforcer.”
Henrik Stenson and caddie. Her name is Fanny by the way. Can’t read the name of the underwear manufacturer on his waistband, can you? This photo makes me want to caddie for Henrik Stenson. But then I’d have to learn to keep score and abide by the Rules of Golf.
The Golf Channel. For all its unique qualities, golf on TV has earned its own channel and millions of fans. As a non-golfing spouse, I’d like to see a real, live action commercial, of pro golfers with shaved, oiled chests splashed with award-winning wine, while modeling underwear. Music by Axl Rose, shot on location at sunset in Dubai, photography by That Armani Guy, clubs swinging around, golf balls exploding in flames, a brawl breaks out in slow motion and voice over by William Perry reading this tag line, “Henrik ‘The Enforcer’ Stenson, Mike ‘The Refrigerator’ Weir, and Retief ‘The Goon Squad’ Goosen all wear Armani boxer briefs on the pro tour—Play it where it lies? In Your Face!” Oh baby! Now for that, I’d watch golf!
My guest blogger, Mrs. Grady, has watched over 500 hrs of the golf channel. She has yet to see a pro golfer in an underwear commercial.